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First Farmers’ Market Trip of the Season = Awesome Last Day of Spring Break

Posted Apr 18 2010 12:00am

I was determined to make the most of this, my final day of . This week off went by so quickly, but I enjoyed the rest and relaxation that it allowed me to experience.  Now I’m looking forward to summer, which is only 9 weeks away, but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

Ahhh, what an absolutely perfect Sunday I had today!  It started with brunch with my mom, Ish, and her mom.  We caught up on our lives, shared laughs, and then headed to one of the best farmers’ markets in my local area.  The thing is HUGE – 6 blocks long – and filled with produce, flowers, and crafts from local farmers, florists, artisans, and artists.  It was a beautiful, sunny day (mid to high 70s), and hitting this farmers’ markets with these ladies is one of my favorite ways to spend any Sunday, but was especially nice on this, the last day of my spring break.

These flowers are the gorgeous palette of spring at the Campbell Farmers’ Market. Looking at all the beautiful colors just puts me in a great mood. There were so many different florists to choose from, offering all sorts of flowers.  Everything from old favorites to the very unexpected.

Very quirky hanging plants.  I really liked the ones on the far left (click the picture to make it larger so you can really see them).  I almost got them, but then I found these for $5:

Aren’t they spectacular?  They’re called protea, and I’ve never seen anything so unique in my life.  I was so happy to find flowers like these that you definitely can’t find at the local supermarket.  Plus, the price was ridiculously inexpensive, so I just couldn’t pass them up.

I was really attracted to the painting of the woman in the red dress and got into a completely entertaining conversation with the eccentric artist who painted them.  He told me that a few months ago he was painting on cardboard on the streets of Carmel.  One afternoon someone saw him and offered him $10,000 to paint as many as he could on canvas.  From there he said, “my work has been at galleries from here to New York, and I sell the paintings for $1500 apiece.  But I don’t like to be tied to any galleries, so I will sell that one to you, out of the joy it will bring my heart to know that you’ll love it, for $150, but don’t tell anyone”.  He was so funny.  I told him I had to think about it, to which he responded, “well do be expedient in your decision, dear, because I have to start packing up soon.”  LOL.  I didn’t end up getting it, but it was fun to hear his story and talk to him.

I bought lots of beautiful produce, including a mix of baby kale and swiss chard, the sweetest, most flavorful, crisp Asian pears I’ve ever tasted, some Persian cucumbers, and Iranian bolani, which is a naan-like bread with spinach that is only 1 point.  I’m looking forward to trying that tonight.  The sights and sounds of the farmers’ market are always so invigorating to me because all the food brings to mind so many cooking possibilities. There really isn’t anything better than farm fresh produce, locally produced, and waiting for a little inspiration.

(Side note: I was pretty hungry by the time I got home much later this afternoon, so I decided to try the bolani.  I was intrigued that they were so low in calories, fat, and high in fiber.  As directed, I heated them in a skillet over medium heat, with just a bit of Pam.  One whole bolani, pictured, is only 3 points!):

If you think this trip to the farmers’ market was where the afternoon ended, you obviously don’t know my mom.  ;)   After we said our goodbyes to Ish and her mom, we headed to not one, not two, but three different stores in search of the perfect vase for her to put her protea in.  (Mine are in beautiful vases from Pottery Barn that I already had). But with these strange beauties as our motivation, we knew the quest had to be met with the iron shoppers’ will that only my mom possesses.

We headed first to Michael’s, but found nothing but a long line of disgruntled women who were upset to be waiting to purchase their goods, rather than being outside enjoying the gorgeous weather.

Undaunted, we went to Cost Plus World Market , where we didn’t find any vases, but where I found some inspiration to redo my living room.  Prior to seeing these, my living room was a mixture of gold and burgundy, which is rich and luxurious in winter, but feels quite heavy at this time of year.  I have a plan to change the artwork on my walls (a post and photos about this next week, after it’s completed), and I’ve been wanting to change the colors to something more that echo the freshness of spring and summer.  When I found these, I knew that I couldn’t leave the store without them:

I absolutely love these pillows. The colors just make me happy. They’re so whimsical and vibrant. They totally fit the mood and personality I want to create within the room.

(I also got some silk flowers to put in my vases, but since I have the protea in them right now, I’ll snap another photo of those once they expire in a few weeks).

We left Cost Plus without finding my mom’s vase, so we headed to Pier 1 next.  I adore this store more than I can say, and if I had endless amounts of money, I could’ve left with so much more. As it was, I found a couple of things that I knew would really help put the living room together well:

I love the stripes in this pillow, and how the colors tie in well with the other two pillows I found at Cost Plus.

I also found a great candle holder that has those same colors:

I wish the photo show how beautiful it looks with the candles illuminating it.

I cannot tell you how invigorated I felt knowing that for a small amount of money I had the things I needed to help transform my living room.  Since it’s the room I spend the majority of my time in, I want to make sure it has an atmosphere that I find soothing.  As I mentioned before, there are still a few more touches that I need to make before the “makeover” is complete, but it’s definitely well on its way.

Oh, and before you think that we forgot about our original purpose, the quest for the perfect vase for my mom’s protea, here’s the vase we found.  It’s blown glass, made in Italy, and it’s gorgeous.  It’s a gold-colored vase with veins of rust running through it.  Our afternoon’s quest was complete!

When I got home I was seriously so tired that I felt like I had walked a 5K.  We were out and about and either standing or walking for over 4 hours straight.  I counted it as an hour of slow walking, which earned 4 APs.  :)

Today, and this entire weekend, I was really active and social, and it felt so good.  It really reinforced to me that I need to try to be this way more often.  During these long winter months I’ve been hibernating, and it feels great to be out and about and enjoying this gorgeous weather.  Again, it makes me long for summer, but for now I’ll have to make each weekend count.

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